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Links for July 5th 2010:
- Facebook bans doll nipples [The Age] – Prudebook? “Facebook’s prude police are out in force yet again, this time threatening action against a Sydney jeweller for posting pictures of an exquisite nude porcelain doll posing with her works. Victoria Buckley, who owns a high-end jewellery store in the Strand Arcade on George Street, has long used dolls as inspiration for her pieces and hasn’t had one complaint about the A3 posters of the nudes in her shop window. But over the weekend she received six warnings from Facebook saying the pictures of the doll, which show little more than nipples, constituted “inappropriate content” and breached the site’s terms of service.The warnings said Facebook would remove the images and Buckley is worried she will be banned from the site if she posts them again.”
- 4Chan hackers blamed for redirecting Justin Bieber fans to porn websites [News.com.au] – 4chan Vs Bieber: “Hackers wreaked havoc with a series of Justin Bieber YouTube pages today – redirecting users to pornography websites and videos saying the Canadian pop star had died in a car accident. The first YouTube spoof sent fans of the 16-year-old singer into a panic after hackers changed the sound of a video falsely reporting that Bieber died in a car accident, Mashable social media blog reported. Other YouTube pages featured pop up windows of pornography websites and videos exposing underage Bieber fans to explicit content. Internet forum 4Chan was blamed for the attacks but it is believed others joined in once the hack was discovered. YouTube said it was working to fix the problem as soon as possible. The stunt came just days after Bieber took to his Twitter account to dispel rumours regarding the identity of his father, claims that he was dead and reports his mother was offered a hefty sum to pose topless for Playboy magazine.”
- Guardian Takes Next Step in Open Content Strategy With Blog Plugin [Giga OM] – As many other newspapers try and lock their content behind paywalls and paid apps, the Guardian is moving boldly in the opposite direction, releasing a free WordPress application to embed full articles from the Guardian in any WordPress blog. The Guardian makes money by keeping their advertising intact, but gives bloggers the full right to re-post Guardian content (not just snippets). It’s not a perfect app – nor that easy to install – but it’s definitely a move in the right direction, and evidence for a very sensible business plan for the Guardian group – sharing content further, not restricting it! Take notes, Rupert Murdoch!
Links for December 6th 2009 through December 10th 2009:
- Tiger Woods’s Web Site Is Drawing Attention and Scrutiny [NYTimes.com] – When Web Presence goes wrong: “In the nearly two weeks since Tiger Woods became tabloid fodder, his personal Web site has turned into a kind of town hall meeting on his reported extramarital behavior. More than 22,000 comments, many of them supportive but plenty of the finger-wagging variety, followed the Dec. 2 statement in which he admitted to vague “transgressions” and to letting his family down. The scandal over Woods’s suspected misdeeds has elevated TigerWoods.com’s traffic drastically, although not into the Internet stratosphere. In the week ending Nov. 29 — the day he issued his statement about his car accident — the number of unique users soared to 488,000 visitors, according to Nielsen Online. In that same period, it beat the 89,000 who visited BritneySpears.com.”
- Facebook’s New Privacy Changes: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly [Electronic Frontier Foundation] – “Although sold as a “privacy” revamp, Facebook’s new changes are obviously intended to get people to open up even more of their Facebook data to the public. The privacy “wizard” that guides users through the configuration will “recommend” — preselect by default — the setting to share the content they post to Facebook, such as status messages and wall posts, with everyone on the Internet, even though the default privacy level that those users had accepted previously was limited to “Your Networks and Friends” on Facebook […] to ensure that users don’t accidentally share more than they intend to, we do not recommend Facebook’s “recommended” settings.” (Facebook’s explanation of the new settings.)
- Game Developer Won’t Edit ‘Aliens vs. Predator’ To Appease Australian Censors [Techdirt] – “Rose M. Welch alerts us to the news that game developer Rebellion has decided not to resubmit an edited version of its game Aliens vs. Predator after it was rejected by the Australian Classification Board for being too violent. The company stated that it agrees the game is not suitable for children: “We agree strongly that our game is not suitable for game players who are not adults… it is bloody and frightening, that was our intent.” But Australia apparently doesn’t have an option for such “mature” content, and Rebellion seems to recognize how ridiculous that is: “We will not be releasing a sanitized or cut down version for territories where adults are not considered by their governments to be able to make their own entertainment choices.” Hopefully, things like this will make Australia reconsider its censorship of such content.” (Oh, Australia is ready to reconsider our insane games rating system … some annoying guy in SA isn’t!)
- More than 50 papers join in front-page leader article on climate change [Media | guardian.co.uk] – THE GOOD: “The Guardian has teamed up with more 50 papers worldwide to run the same front-page leader article calling for action at the climate summit in Copenhagen, which begins tomorrow. This unprecedented project is the result of months of negotiations between the papers to agree on a final text, in a process that mirrors the kind of diplomatic wrangling among the world’s governments that is likely to precede any potential deal on climate change. Fifty-six papers in 45 countries published in 20 different languages have joined the initiative, and will feature the leader in some form on their front pages.
THE BAD: “Two Australian papers, the Age and the Sydney Morning Herald, pulled out at a late stage after the election of climate change sceptic Tony Abbott as leader of the opposition Liberal party recast the country’s debate on green issues.” (Australian media already bowing to Tony Abbott’s climate change scepticism …)
- App Store Is a Game Changer for Apple and Cellphone Industry [NYTimes.com] – “Apple changed the view of what you can do with that small phone in your back pocket,” says Katy Huberty, a Morgan Stanley analyst. “Applications make the smartphone trend a revolutionary trend — one we haven’t seen in consumer technology for many years.” Ms. Huberty likens the advent of the App Store and the iPhone to AOL’s pioneering role in driving broad-based consumer adoption of the Internet in the 1990s. She also draws comparisons to ways in which laptops have upended industry assumptions about consumer preferences and desktop computing. But, she notes, something even more profound may now be afoot. “The iPhone is something different. It’s changing our behavior,” she says. “The game that Apple is playing is to become the Microsoft of the smartphone market.” (That last sentence is the important one: Microsoft has trouble playing with others; Apple’s increasingly having that issue, too!)
Links for November 27th 2009 through December 2nd 2009:
- Seven’s FlashForward “leaked” to US [TV Tonight] – “Monday night’s episode of FlashForward was the last for the year on Seven, and screened before the US which took a broadcast break for Thanksgiving. That resulted in the episode being uploaded as a torrent and now “leaked” to America. The Hollywood Reporter notes that “Australians don’t care about our guilt-tinged empire-expanding holiday traditions and didn’t take a break. Whether the US-Aussie FlashForward schedule being jolted out-of-sync will result in future episodes also being leaked isn’t known.” Presumably the episode will be downloaded across the US complete with a Channel 7 watermark. It’s all rather ironic given Disney / ABC went to great lengths to make sure Aussie media didn’t reveal information on the series in the lead-up to the premiere, insisting they attend a cinema screening and sign confidentiality clauses.” (US viewers, welcome to the other side of the tyranny of digital distance!)
- The hits on iView [TV Tonight] – “Four Corners, United States of Tara, Good Game, Doctor Who, The Chaser’s War on Everything and Media Watch are the most popular titles on the ABC’s iView platform. The online catch-up service has been operating since July 2008. Since April this year there have been 6.2 million views of programs with an annual monthly average of 610,000 visits, up by 140% compared to last year. It averages 206,000 visitors per month, up by 60% compared to last year. In October 2009, ABC iView recorded its highest ever number of visitors and visits. 286,000 visitors and 1.054 million visits to ABC iView.” (Finally, streaming timeshifted TV is making solid inroads in Australia.)
- Moviegoers 2010 available for download [Marketing Strategy for Entertainment and Brand Clients – Stradella Road] – “Why does movie studio tracking and research so often surprise and disappoint us? The answer experienced movie marketers gave us in private conversations was this: We still don’t know our customers/audience as well as we should.
Where do moviegoers really spend their time? What are the social dynamics of the decision-making process? How do we synthesize the sea changes taking place with digital technologies in order to reach the right audience with the right message at the right time in the right place? We designed the Moviegoers 2010 research study to answer these questions […]
• Moviegoers spend more time each week online (19.8 hours) than they do watching TV (14.3 hours)
• 52% of moviegoers have digital video recorders (61% of the 30-39 demo) and, of those consumers, 71% fast-forward to skip commercials.
[Download the full report – PDF]
- Westfield Facebook application draws fire [mUmBRELLA] – Westfield has drawn criticism over a Facebook application that may be in breach of the social networking site’s terms and conditions, despite the two companies collaborating to develop it. The application updates a user’s status with a Westfield-branded message to promote its Gift Card. It requires the user to opt in so that their status is updated to “All I Want for Christmas is a Westfield Gift Card”, with extra copy stating that the user has now gone into the draw to win a $10,000 gift card. […] But the promotion has also attracted a backlash from other users, complaining that the promotion is taking over the social networking site as friends’ status updates that feature the Westfield branding, clutter their screens. Facebook groups have also been created in opposition to it. One group, known as If All You Want For Christmas Is A Westfield Gift Card, I Don’t Want To Know, currently has over 3,300 fans.” (Spam as a Facebook App … great marketing!)
Links for November 12th 2009 through November 14th 2009:
- Labels may be losing money, but artists are making more than ever [Boing Boing] – Interesting figures that show while music labels might be losing money, artists are making more than ever. Live performances are the key revenue raisers. (The figures don’t break down much further than that, but it’s important since it asks whether artists or just labels are the ones who are really fighting “piracy”.)
- Massively Increasing Music Licensing Fees For Clubs Down Under Massively Backfires [Techdirt] – Time for a few Creative Commons licensed nightclubs to rock Australia: “We’ve noted the ridiculous and self-defeating efforts by many music collections societies around the world to jack up their rates by ridiculous amounts. None was more ridiculous than the attempt in Australia by the PPCA where some of the rate changes would rocket up from figures like $125/year… to $19,344/year. Well, it looks like it’s already backfiring badly. Reader Dan alerts us to the news that the organization that represents night clubs and similar businesses in Australia, appropriately named Clubs Australia, has set up a system whereby the organization will specifically go out and seek music by artists not covered by the collections effort, and distribute that music to clubs and other establishments”
- Moving forward with our media studies search [Just TV] – Jason Mittell is leading the search for a new comparative media studies faculty member at Middlebury College in the US. What’s fantastic is that as the search leader, he’s blogging the process and trying to explain how decisions are made – given the absolute paucity of jobs available today, these insights are remarkably valuable (and do turn an often opque process into a very human one: “But I think a key lesson for candidates to realize is that not making the cut is rarely a referendum of your worth as a scholar or teacher – it’s usually more about a sense of the position and internal needs that are hard to articulate, combined with the inevitable comparisons among the applicant pool.”
- URL shorteners suck less, thanks to the Internet Archive and 301Works [Boing Boing] – Big URL shortening companies like bit.ly are working with the Internet Archive to ensure that if their companies ever go bust, the shortened URLs will always work thanks to a backup via the archive. Nice!
- NASA finds ‘significant’ water on moon [CNN.com] – Wowzers, there’s water on the moon! “NASA said Friday it had discovered water on the moon, opening “a new chapter” that could allow for the development of a lunar space station. The discovery was announced by project scientist Anthony Colaprete at a midday news conference. “I’m here today to tell you that indeed, yes, we found water. And we didn’t find just a little bit; we found a significant amount” — about a dozen, two-gallon bucketfuls, he said, holding up several white plastic containers.
- His Facebook Status Now? ‘Charges Dropped’ [NYTimes.com] – Facebook status updates as an alibi: “Where’s my pancakes, read Rodney Bradford’s Facebook page, in a message typed on Saturday, Oct. 17, at 11:49 a.m., from a computer in his father’s apartment in Harlem. … words that were gobbledygook to anyone besides Mr. Bradford. But when Mr. Bradford, a skinny, short 19-year-old resident of the Farragut Houses, was arrested the next day as a suspect in a robbery, the words took on a level of importance that no one in their wildest dreams — least of all Mr. Bradford — could have imagined. They became his alibi. His defense lawyer, Robert Reuland, told a Brooklyn assistant district attorney, Lindsay Gerdes, about the Facebook entry, which was made at the time of the robbery. The district attorney subpoenaed Facebook to verify that the status update had actually been typed from a computer located at 71 West 118th Street in Harlem, as Mr. Bradford said. When that was confirmed, the charges were dropped.”
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